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In a three-day Maryland Day Celebration, you can loop back 380 years.

This weekend, you can loop 380 years back in time without breaking stride in history’s forward march.         March 24 is the birthday of Maryland’s modern history. That European encounter opened the door to all of us, native inhabitants excepted.     On that early spring day in 1634, voyagers from the ships the Ark and the Dove prayed on a Potomac River island, thanking God for surviving their long voyage, coming to land safely and negotiating a peace accord with the Piscataway Indians.

My year of reconnections

This wasn’t supposed to be my year of reconnections; it was supposed to be the year of nothing. 2011 had been the year of moving to Annapolis; 2012 the year of my retirement. I assumed I would look back and find the months of 2013 unexciting and unmemorable.     But fate intervened. A series of events turned 2013 into my year of reconnections. I connected with 22 people with whom I had lost contact for anywhere from five to 45 years.

Stay awake or you’ll become one of them

It was a dark and stormy night, and here I was on a deserted path leading to a deserted house on a deserted hill. The lantern I carried was of little use since the wind was howling and the lightning was flashing and the thunder was crashing. I began to doubt my sanity for having gotten into an argument with Clyde Barston. He had said that the old mansion was haunted, and I had said “With what?”     “Ghosts, of course,” he had said. “It is well known that the old mansion is full of ghosts that roam freely during storms.”

Sometimes the depths hold more than mystery

I have always felt that the ocean held mystery. … dark and foreboding. I inherited a small cottage on the Atlantic shore from my uncle and would spend weekends there to get away from the daily grind. Although I would enter the waves and laugh with friends, I always felt myself hold back a little, unsure of the dark waters around me. It was not the sea life that I feared. It was the realization that the ocean was a vast graveyard of lost souls … countless shipwrecks through the centuries, plane crashes and the drowning of nameless others.

Last year's Annapolis Irish Festival drew 22,000-plus people

Whether you count yourself among the 32 million Americans who claim Irish roots or the 300 million others who wish they could, you’ll find a comfortable connection with the Emerald Isle at Annapolis Irish Festival this weekend. But you’ll have to stretch your idea of the Ould Sod to keep up with a culture redefining tradition for modern times.

Milestones in words and pictures

1993: Volume I

... And my phone’s resilience

Balance. All I have to do is stand up. I put my left foot flat on the board, wobble for a second, then stabilize. My right foot is next. If I don’t do this right, I’m going straight in with the jellyfish. The creek is infested with the stinging creatures.     Here goes nothing. My right foot sweeps under me and lands flat on the wobbling board. Standing, I regain my balance.     I did it. I have conquered the paddleboard.

When ­disaster strikes, these dogs are ready for work

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 earthquake hit the capital city of the poorest county in the Western Hemisphere, dumping 19 million cubic yards of rubble and debris on Port au Prince, Haiti, and its people.     Two-year-old German shepherd Racker, of Eastport, rushed to the disaster, along with search-and-rescue dogs from France and Mexico.

Resources for companion animals and their humans

Volunteers make Anne Arundel and Calvert Counties animal- and people-friendly communities. Here’s where to go to rescue an animal, find affordable care for your pet or help out.

Pups pose and plunge for the cause at family-friendly festival

Mindy Nelson admires the spirit of the thousands of charity-minded fundraisers who cast their warm bodies into the frigid waters of the Bay for Special Olympics every January.     “I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if dogs could do that?” says Nelson, fundraising and event coordinator for Anne Arundel County’s own Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.